by | Jul 6, 2022

People take on self-deprivation challenges for many reasons—but commonly, it’s in the name of health. Early in the year, the driver may be related to New Year’s resolutions—or nearing summer, the reason may pertain to getting fit. Other drivers are not time-bound, just an overall hope to self-improve through diet, cutting ingredients, or other self-deprivation challenges. This voluntary denial or suppression of one’s desire is a fascinating cross-section of human behavior.

Earlier this year, InsightsNow got together with Mars Wrigley to look at deprivation challenges, and dug into the behavior behind what makes them work and not work. You can learn all about it by getting a recording of our webinar with Mars Wrigley: “Will You Accept the Challenge.

What is a Self-Deprivation Challenge?

In our study, and upcoming webinar, we are looking particularly at “challenges” rather than resolutions. The difference is that a challenge is more about taking part in a contest or competition, like Dry January. A self-deprivation challenge is short-lived and not meant to be a permanent alteration in behavior. Resolutions are more of a firm decision to do or not do something with long-term intent. We found that resolutions had a failure rate much higher than short-term challenges for people.

Why Practice Self-Deprivation?   

In our look at reasons why people choose to challenge themselves with deprivation, we found the motivations to generally be wellness, curiosity, social improvements or self-focused. The most common being a wellness motivation, with 31% of people choosing a self-deprivation path to lose weight and improve overall health.

bar graph of deprivation motivations

Other supporting reasons behind giving something up include visibility (many time on social media), social aspects (like affirmation from friends and family), mindful disruption and control over environment and behavior. 

 

What Does This Mean For Brands?

The popularity of challenges, like Dry January, gives companies the opportunity to shift messaging to support your audiences’ success. Through consumer testing, you can understand how to communicate about your product in such a way that those participating in a challenge will see your product as a solution to support them on their journey.  

Want to learn more about message testing and turning the dial on product communication to resonate with your consumers? Reach out to us or check out the webinar recording with Mars Wrigley on this topic.